PHE publishes new Eatwell Guide

18 Mar 2016

The UK’s Public Health England (PHE) has published its new Eatwell Guide which shows the revised proportions of the food groups that help consumers meet official advice and nutrient requirements.

PHE publishes new Eatwell Guide

The UK’s Public Health England (PHE) has published its new Eatwell Guide which shows the revised proportions of the food groups that help consumers meet official advice and nutrient requirements.

The guide replaces the eatwell plate and has been refreshed to reflect updated dietary recommendations, including those on sugar, fibre and starchy carbohydrates from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) report on Carbohydrates and Health in 2015.

There is greater prominence for fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, preferably wholegrain, in the new guide. PHE recommends consuming 30 grams of fibre a day, the same as eating five portions of fruit and vegetables, two whole-wheat cereal biscuits, two thick slices of wholemeal bread and one large baked potato with the skin on. Currently people only consume around 19 grams of fibre per day, less than two-thirds the recommendation.

Sugary soft drinks have been removed from the image and foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar have been moved to the periphery of the guide, reflecting advice that they are not an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet. Adults should have less than six grams of salt and 20 grams of saturated fat for women or 30 grams for men a day.

PHE also advises limiting the consumption of sugar, for example from sugary drinks and confectionery. Adults have twice as much sugar as is recommended and children have over three times. Everyone over the age of 11 should consume less than 30 grams or seven cubes of sugar a day.

The advice that only a 150ml serving of fruit juice counts as one of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is now extended to include smoothies. This is in acknowledgement of the high sugar content of smoothies. The Eatwell Guide now displays drinks recommendations which make clear that adults should be aiming to have six to eight glasses of fluids per day ideally from water, lower fat milks, and unsweetened tea or coffee.

“Our new Eatwell Guide helps people to understand what a healthy balanced diet looks like,” said Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE. “The evidence shows that we should continue to base our meals on starchy carbohydrates, especially wholegrain, and eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day.”

“On the whole, cutting back on foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories would improve our diets, helping to reduce obesity and the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease and some cancers. A smoothie, together with fruit juice, now only counts as one of your 5 A Day and should be drunk with a meal as it’s high in sugar.”